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O’Connell Bridge is a road bridge spanning the River Liffey in Dublin, and joining O’Connell Street to D’Olier Street and the south quays.
The original bridge (named Carlisle Bridge for the then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland – Frederick Howard, 5th Earl of Carlisle) was designed by James Gandon, and built between 1791 and 1794. Originally humped, and narrower, Carlisle bridge was a symmetrical, three semicircular arch structure constructed in granite with a Portland stone balustrade and obelisks on each of the four corners.
In 1879 to improve the streetscape and relieve traffic congestion on the bridge, it was decided to widen Carlisle Bridge to bring it to the same width as Sackville Street (now O’Connell Street). When the bridge was reopened c.1882 it was renamed for Daniel O’Connell when the statue in his honour was unveiled. More recently the lamps that graced the central island have been restored to their five lantern glory.
O’Connell Bridge is located at one end of O’Connell Street which is the main street in Dublin. It is unusual in that it is a bridge which is as wide as it long. It was given it’s name when a statue to Daniel O’Connell was unveiled at on end of the bridge. Daniel O’Connell was a born in Kerry and was adopted by his wealthy uncle. He received a good education and became a Dublin based lawyer who believed in Home Rule for Ireland and set up the Catholic Association in which each member paid a fee and this money was used to help the cause and to help any evicted farmers. See Daniel O’Connell